It’s surprising how much sightseeing you can squeeze into a quick trip to the Windy City, even if you’re visiting mainly for business.
During breaks from a recent conference, I viewed special exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center, did some window-shopping and people-watching and strolled through Millennium Park with its intriguing public art installations.
Breezing past the storied pair of lions guarding the art institute entrance, I caught the special exhibit, “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,” which showcases 300 of the Hungarian-born artist’s multimedia works, including painting, photography, film and sculpture. What a versatile artist he was!
A pioneer of abstraction for the industrial age, Moholy, as he was known, was prominent in the German Bauhaus movement before settling in Chicago and launching its Bauhaus art school. He insisted that art must be developed from the materials of the time — in his case, recorded sound, photography, film and synthetic plastics. And he believed it can gain fresh meaning with a change in size or even reorientation, reverse printing or a shift in lighting — all illustrated in the current exhibition, which runs through Jan. 3.
The first two photos (above and below) are from the Moholy-Nagy exhibit (“Light-Space Modulator” and a Plexiglas sculpture with several paintings), followed by two of my favorite works in the Chicago museum’s permanent collection, Chagall’s “America Windows” and a seated Buddha.
Next, the Chicago “Bean,” formally known as “Cloud,” caught my eye at twilight.
My last two photos are of the Victorian-era, Healy-Millet stained glass dome at the Chicago Cultural Center (free admission) and a current exhibit, “Parsons & Charlesworth: Spectacular Vernacular” which has been extended through Jan. 22. (Check for holiday week closings).
For details: www.artic.edu,